Like intranets, not all intranet consultants are created equal. Building or redesigning an intranet requires a lot of work that usually requires months, or often, years. The average intranet redesign requires 12 to 18 months. Perhaps more in larger organizations (or much less if you choose a hosted, out-of-the box solution). Additionally, if you decide to build or rebuild the intranet, who will be minding the store?
An intranet requires:
- Employee input (research)
- Executive engagement
- Best practices intelligence (benchmarking)
- Business requirements analysis and documentation
- Strategic planning (mission, objective, goals, CSIs)
- Functional planning (structure, content, etc.)
- Governance and an management modelling
- Policies and guidelines
- Business case and ROI
- Content management & migration
- Information architecture
- User Experience (Design)
- Tools and applications (social, collaboration, business)
- Software (and hardware or cloud hosting)
- Technology implementation and administration
- Network and database administration
- Application integration
Hiring an intranet consultant will free-up the necessary time to stay on top of the day-to-day job such as the daily news, benefits enrollment, new application rollouts, etc. Consultants also bring years of experience, best practices, and top-line skills. However, of course, they cost money.
Prescient Digital Media’s Intranet Project Methodology
However, does your team have the skills? Have they ever developed a governance model, an editorial policy, or an LDAP integration plan?
How to hire an intranet consultant
If you have a budget and a work culture that recognizes the value of an outside intranet expert then proceed with caution.
Caution: an Internet consultant is not an intranet consultant. A web design firm has deep creative skills, but rarely has any business acumen and intranet expertise. A big-five consulting firm has very smart people but is very expensive.
What to look for in an intranet expert:
- Intranet client case studies
- Detailed biographies with demonstrated project experience
- Experienced individuals that will be assigned to your project
- Client references with names and numbers (not just unnamed anonymous testimonials)
- Detailed pricing
- Corporate strength and documented financial viability
- Proven and detailed project methodologies
Be cautious if a consultant only has:
- Screenshots and mock-ups
- One or two paragraph bios that focus on favorite movies and hobbies with a cute or too-cool-for-school photo
- People on a list in some far-flung office that won’t actually be working on your project
- Unnamed and anonymous testimonials
- Vague pricing or guess-timates
- Tiny shops with no documented financials (P&L)
Prepare a thorough and detailed RFP (request for proposal). Invite companies that have proven experience and case studies. If you don’t know one (though you should know several if you read this news blog) then look for a recommendation:
- Ask a leading company or partner
- Sniff around your local trade associations like IABC or PRS
- Phone your IT analyst at Garner or Forrester
- Google the phrase “intranet consultant” or “intranet consulting” with or without geographic locations (if that’s important to you)
- Post a comment here and I or another reader will help steer you
The RFP responses from any intranet consulting firm should contain the following:
- Line by line details of every process and deliverable
- Intranet consulting history and overview
- Detailed client case studies
- Solution functional specifications
- Consulting, licensing (if applicable) AND implementation costs
- Project team resumes, skills overview & experience
- Client references and contact information
- Detailed timeline and schedules
- Ongoing service & support commitment
- Solution technical specifications (if applicable)
- Product demonstration (if applicable)
A final word: Google before you hire a particular intranet consultant or intranet consulting firm. Start with the top results… A great intranet consultant is not only experienced, but a leader with published credentials to support it.
Top intranet consulting firms:
- Prescient Digital Media (North America & Europe)
ALSO READ: HIRING AN INTRANET CONSULTANT
I would like to talk about this topic.. How?
Your mail address seems to be obsolete..(toby(at)Prescientdigital(dot)com)
Please tell me how to contact you.
By all means, feel free to call me directly at 416.926.8800 or you can of course contact me directly through the website at http://www.PrescientDigital.com.
Cheers – Toby